This lake, situated next to the Thmor Puok Station, provides the water for the district.
On Tuesday, February 25, local government of Banteay Mean Chey with RACHA's support, and the financial assistance from the Embassy of Japan, launched a Water Filtration Station in Thmor Puok District.
Over 500 Thmor Puok community members, schoolchildren, and district staff attended the launch. RACHA was honored to host several esteemed guests, including the Provincial Governor of Banteay Mean Chey, the Japanese Minister and Deputy Chief of the Mission to Cambodia, Mr. Higuchi Yoshiro, and his His Excellency Mr. Kosum Saroeut, the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Health, His Excellency Mr. Chou Yin Sin. The Provincial Coordinator of RACHA's Banteay Mean Chey Office, Dr. Kun Navuth, also spoke to those assembled.
The Provincial Governor, the Secretary of State, RACHA's Provincial Coordinator in Banteay Mean Chey, and the Japanese Minister taste the water from the filtration station at the launch.
The Water Station was made possible through a grant from the Japanese Embassy's KUSANONE (Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects) Project, and RACHA has been working with local partners and government for the past year to build the station. Situated next to a lake, the water station, using RACHA's patented filtration system, draws water from the lake and filters it producing 7000 liters of safe drinking water a day. The safe water distributed in 20L bottles is completely free of charge, however community members are encouraged to contribute 500 riel to support the management and maintenance of the water station.
In the past, Youn Somun, 55, a community member attending the launch, would have to collect rain water in the rainy season and in the dry season, he would have to boil water from the lake in order to make it potable. Now, "I will come to the station to get water for my family", he stated on Tuesday. Mr. Yoshiro, in his speech to the attendees, emphasized the importance of water for health, stating, "The clean water is a base for development and has a wide range of positive effects…I am hopeful that a new water filtration system will contribute to eradicating [water related diseases, especially among children under five years old]." The Japanese commitment to improving healthcare in Cambodia is strong, and the water station is a statement of friendship between the two countries.
As a part of the launch, community members received important healthcare education materials. ID Poor families received coupons for pre-filled safe water bottle, providing a reusable 20-liter container, which usually costs $4. Chav Dary, the Deputy Director of the Referral Hospital in Banteay Mean Chey, said he would come every day to collect safe water, because his family of seven drinks 20 liters quite quickly. For a week following the launch, Through Water, one of RACHA's many partners, will be conducting water promotion activities at the local school, engaging children in educationally creative activities.
Chav Dary, Deputy Director of the Referral Hospital in Banteay Mean Chey, stands in front of water bottles that will be going home with ID Poor families.
RACHA has been working with community members to establish a Water Management Committee, who will oversee the management and ownership of the station. RACHA and the Management Committee hope to establish a system of delivering water to nearby families in the next several months.
RACHA looks forward to observing the continued success of the water station.
Check back next week to read more about Through Water's activities!